Singapore-based Interpol operation detects almost 9000 malware-laden servers, compromised websites

Some 8,800 of the servers across eight countries were found to be infected with various malware codes including those targeting financial institutions and used to launch DDoS (distributed denial-of-service) attacks.

Cybercrime investigators from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam gathered together at the IGCI to exchange information on specific cybercrime situations in their respective countries.

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab has joined the world’s largest police organisation Interpol in a cybercrime operation involving public and private sectors across the Asean region, the company said on Tuesday.

An Interpol-led operation targeting cybercrime has discovered almost 9,000 malware-riddled servers and hundreds of compromised websites, including government portals across Southeast Asia.

Last week, Europol also took a big bite out of cybercrime operations when it announced the arrest of three suspects in Spain and two in the United Kingdom for their role in the creation and distribution of (currently unnamed) keyloggers and Remote Acess Trojans.

Domestic law enforcement agencies from seven Asian countries, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam, also supported the investigation while China provided some cyberintelligence, the worldwide police body said.

It also showed that almost 270 websites were infected with a malware code, including several government websites that may have contained citizen’s personal data.

A number of phishing website operators were also discovered such as one with links to Nigeria. “One criminal based in Indonesia selling phishing kits via the Darknet had posted YouTube videos showing customers how to use the illicit software”. Based on this information and those provided by the Asean countries, Interpol then produced 23 reports highlighting threats and cybercriminal activities as well as recommended actions for local authorities.

According to IGCI Executive Director Noboru Nakatani, the operation was ideal as it demonstrated a highly effective and beneficial public-private partnership in the fight against cybercrime.

“For many of those involved, this operation helped participants identify and address various types of cyber crime which had not previously been tackled in their countries”, said Chan. “It also enabled countries to coordinate and learn from each other by handling real and actionable cyber intelligence provided by private companies via INTERPOL, and is a blueprint for future operations”, he explains.

Cheng Khee Boon, Commander of Singapore Police Force (SPF) Cybercrime Command said, “SPF will continue to work closely with our ASEAN counterparts and the Interpol community to eradicate criminal activities in the cyberspace”.

Identifying different legislative requirements and regulations around the region was also an important aspect of the operation, providing participants with greater understanding of the avenues and restrictions in conducting enquiries.